“[Microsoft] have the deepest of pockets, unlimited ambition, and they are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either. And they are mean, REALLY mean.”
–Robert X. Cringely
SHAMELESS tricks are back again, so below we offer just a quick overview with appropriate links.
Paying One’s Way to Polluting the Web
It’s one thing when Microsoft spreads its DRM and binaries using airlines, football tournaments and the Olympic games [1, 2]. It is much worse when this competition-hostile technology reaches the public sector. The Library of Congress, which is a public institute, received millions of dollars in ‘incentives’ to lock public assets into Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] and it could get even worse. What would taxpayers have to say?
According to Adobe, those millions of dollars handed over to a public library by Microsoft are not the exception. Adobe’s CEO is now accusing Microsoft of simply buying market share, just as it’s trying to do with Yahoo. it’s trying to starve the competition to make itself the only option and thus a de facto standard.
Shantanu Narayen says Microsoft is ‘opening its chequebook’ in a failed attempt to get companies to move from Flash to its own Silverlight player
At the moment, under the disguise which is charity (yes, that kind), Bill Gates is also boasting ‘free’ (gratis) tools that enable Microsoft to poison the World Wide Web with Silverlight, using the help of young people to whom this is marketed, almost fed.
Addiction Now, Rehabilitation Later
A couple of days ago we also covered Microsoft's latest mischief in Korea (paying them to discourage the spread of Free software). Microsoft brings similar tactics to small and poor businesses now, trying to have them dependent on Microsoft while they are still young. Luckily, some reporters were not naive enough for Microsoft (and even Port 25) to fool. Here are some examples of coverage:
The introduction of BizSpark clearly indicates that Microsoft wants start-ups to defer from using open source software such as Linux.
Microsoft has slashed the cost for internet and technology start-ups to use its software and servers in an attempt to attract the latest generation of programmers away from Open Source rivals like Linux.
The BBC, quite unsurprisingly perhaps (see [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15] for some history), advertised this thing rather than warn about the dangers. It described it as some sort of charity, as opposed to an attack on Free(dom) software. Glyn Moody wasn’t entirely happy, to say the very least.
Why is the BBC Running Microsoft Ads?
But it’s obviously too much to expect a technology reporter in Silicon Valley to mention such trivia in the face of the *real* story about Microsoft’s perfervid altruism.
Prison provides ‘free’ meals too, but you
don’t want to go there